It is nearly impossible to turn on the television or radio and not be hit with advertisements introducing the latest fast food trend – fresh and healthy food options. More often, the media bombards us with slogans such as Subway’s common pitch to “eat fresh” or McDonald’s million-dollar advertisement campaign to try the new fruit and walnut salad. Attention has made an abrupt turn from the greasy, deep-fried originals at the fast food chains to more health conscious food choices. Even a documentary of a man named Morgan Spurlock made headlines and won awards when he ate McDonald’s three times a day for a month and publicized the effects through a movie called Super Size Me. Shortly after Super Size Me caught high publicity attention, McDonald’s has introduced three “garden fresh salads.Order now
” Other popular fast food chains were not far behind the healthy menu options McDonald’s has offered, and soon numerous salad, yogurt, fruit, and grilled chicken food items popped up on every fast food menu. The message is simple; people are becoming too fat due to the consumption of fast food. Therefore, obesity and the demand for fresh, quick food service have increased the popularity of health conscious food selections on fast food menus.
Obesity, especially child obesity, is becoming more of an epidemic concern among society today and commonly linked to fast food. Recent data suggest that nearly fifteen percent of U.S.
youngsters and almost one-third of adults are obese; and everyday nearly one-third of these U.S. children aged four to nineteen eat fast food. Yale University obesity researcher Kelly Brownell said, “Fast food contributes to increased calorie intake and obesity risk in children” (CBS News). No wonder parents are becoming concerned with the options children have when facing a fast food menu. Parent complaints are not enough of influence to entice the big-ticket fast food joints to make a healthy switch, however, lawsuits is.
The nation’s obesity epidemic has focused attention on fast-restaurants, and while recent class-action lawsuits attempting to blame McDonald’s Corp. for making people fat have failed, many chains have begun offering healthier fare in fear of lawsuits (CBS News).
A growing concern with on-the-go food consumers is the freshness and dietary guidelines that go into their diet. Tight schedules make people spend more time working and less spent eating. Thus, fast food becomes one the most popular alternatives. It is affordable, delicious, readily available and most importantly, fast.
However, the selection of varying food groups is limited, and food restaurants are beginning to recognize the problem. Gary Hirshberg, a parent frustrated with the food selection his family had while on the road for vacation, started a store called O’Naturals that now has four different locations in California and Boston. "We call it fast food with a mission,’; said Hirshberg, who envisions his healthy restaurants shaking up the restaurant business (Andrew Martin). Subway is another popular restaurant that draws their attention to the fresh side of the market. However, there are few fast food places, like Subway, that can claim their food to be fresh. Many of the well-known fast food vendors claim to offer fresh salads, fruits, and sandwiches; but “freshly packaged does not necessarily mean freshly made” (Blogspot).
Many would argue that the latest craze with the addition of Healthy Fast Food Essay isn’t due to obesity or quality freshness, but simply expanding the market to increase profit. A high percentage of Americans eat fast food, and an even increasing number of Americans are becoming more aware of their dietary health. Therefore, to increase sales to those individuals who normally wouldn’t splurge on a double cheeseburger, fries, and soda; fast food corporations have expanded their market. Fast food is pushing advertisements containing salads, fruit, yogurt, and grilled entrees to lure those on-the-go health conscious individuals. “Faced with this new breed of consumers,” Biz-Community News reports, “fast-food companies must certainly take action to assure their future” (Biz-Community News).
Obesity and the desire for freshness are the two focal reasons fast food chains have gone healthy.
A high percentage of Americans are over weight, and those same individuals supply the profit for the fast food industry. Close to one hundred percent of the items on a fast food menu .